My short independent documentary, Jeanne & Mike: Original Art has just won “Best Short Film” in the Direct Short Online Film Festival for March 2016. I love that this festival recognized this as a short film, not solely a documentary. I also love that there are so many opportunities for independent filmmakers to get our work seen. The rise of mobile plays a huge role, as more entertainment is consumed on smartphones and tablets. Online film festivals are simply the next step in helping people like me reach a wider audience than we could have ever dreamed.
Hey, that’s me!
It was wonderful to sit down with my local online publication Hoodline and talk about this ongoing documentary photo project I’ve been working on (for 12 years now).
Divisadero Corridor is a project that is near and dear to my heart. When I started it, back in 2004, I owned an Olympus point-and-shoot 3-megapixel camera. I thought it was the greatest thing at the time. There was no Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I had a blog – but no one read that.
The neighborhood I had just moved to was dark, gritty. Sandwiched between still colorful Haight-Ashbury and its weird cousin, the Lower Haight, the Divisadero Corridor didn’t warrant much explanation. It was (as it still is) a major north/south thoroughfare through San Francisco, a part of the much larger area known as the Western Addition. There were few businesses besides the car repair shops and gas stations. A couple of corner stores. A few quirky places to eat and drink (Club Waziema remains a favorite). No one came to Divisadero to do anything. But they used to. As I walked the Corridor and its surrounds I began to pick up on the rich African-American history that was once at its core. Sadly, I’ve watched the little parts of that which were still here in 2004 be chipped away at even more. Yet, I’ve also watched a slow and careful gentrification take place. I was here when the shift was made to calling the neighborhood NoPa, but as I still photo walk the Corridor a couple of times a week, I can still feel the beat of Divisadero. It’s all about where you look.